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The Amateur Gentleman (1926)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 15 August 1926 (USA)
Barbanas Barty inherits some money, sets off to London, meets and falls in love with Lady Cleone Meredith, and this does not set well with Sir Mortiner Carnaby, who has eyes on the fair ... See full summary »

Director:

Sidney Olcott

Writers:

Jeffery Farnol (novel), Lillie Hayward (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Richard Barthelmess ... Barnabas Barty
Dorothy Dunbar ... Lady Cleone Meredith
Gardner James ... Ronald Barrymaine
Nigel Barrie ... Sir Mortimer Carnaby
Brandon Hurst ... Peterby
John Miljan ... Viscount John Devenham
Edwards Davis ... John Barty
Billie Bennett Billie Bennett ... Duchess of Camberhurst
Herbert Grimwood Herbert Grimwood ... Jasper Gaunt
Gino Corrado ... Prince Regent
Sidney De Gray Sidney De Gray ... Captain Chumley
John S. Peters John S. Peters ... Captain Slingsby (as John Peters)
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Storyline

Barbanas Barty inherits some money, sets off to London, meets and falls in love with Lady Cleone Meredith, and this does not set well with Sir Mortiner Carnaby, who has eyes on the fair lady himself. Barnaby becomes friend with Viscount Devehon, buys a horse from him and enters it in the big steeplechase. Sir Mortimer takes steps to rid society of the presence of this non-gentleman. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A PICTURE AS ONLY THE MOST LOVABLE OF ACTORS COULD GIVE TO THE SCREEN. (Print ad- Sunday Mail, ((Brisbane, Queensland)) 16 January 1927)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amatörgentlemannen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Inspiration Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Furbelowed farthingales
31 August 2004 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

'The Amateur Gentleman' is a swashbuckler, set in Georgian England. This movie perpetrates most of Hollywood's usual errors for costume dramas: everything is too clean, and all the people are too healthy and have perfect teeth. Still, the art direction, lighting and photography are much better here than I've come to expect for this sort of thing.

Barnabas Barty is the ambitious son of publican John Barty, a former prizefighter who bought a tavern with his winnings. When Barnabas comes into unexpected money, he aspires to become a gentleman. In the most plausible scene in the movie, John Barty reminds his son that the two of them are common stock, and that Barnabas must not aspire to something he can't attain. (Given the class system in Britain at the time, I find this very realistic.) According to his father, the best Barnabas can hope to become is an 'amateur gentleman'. There's an inept comedy sequence in which Barnabas tries to learn posh manners from books.

Eventually he defends the honour of fair Lady Cleone against dastardly Sir Mortimer Carnaby. (Yes, it's Barnabas versus Carnaby: winner take all.) Barnabas easily trounces Carnaby, who slinks off into the underbrush vowing revenge.

After buckling a few swashes, Barnabas crosses paths with Ronald Barrymaine, a poacher who (conveniently) was once a valet to a milord. (Still keeping score? That's one Carnaby, one Barnabas, one Barrymaine, one Lady Cleone and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.) Barrymaine attaches himself to Barnabas, cheerfully waiting upon him hand and foot while teaching him a gentleman's ways. Eventually, Barnabas proves his worth in a cross-country horse race.

I found this film quite enjoyable, but not for one moment did I believe that these people were actually in Regency England. Gino Corrado's brief impersonation of the future George IV is laughably bad, and isn't even a good likeness of the 'fat friend'. The climax of the film is quite thrilling even though it's obvious who will win the race. Dorothy Dunbar is painfully inept and unattractive in the role of Lady Cleone: she has no sense of period, acting like a bee-stung flapper who's been forcibly dressed in a farthingale and an elaborate coiffure. Brandon Hurst and John Miljan are excellent in supporting roles. I'll rate this movie 7 out of 10 for entertainment, but zero out of 10 for its unconvincing depiction of England in the days of George the Third.


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